Tag: Georges River

584. Wednesday 27th December 2017. Fly to Sydney for Christmas…

It has been a busy week with lots happening and many photographs. Too much to put into one blog post. Therefore I will break the week into easier to handle and edit posts.

Monday 25th December Christmas Day 2017.

Of all the days of the year and in all the places you do not want a glitch to happen.

It happened to me.

Me!

Me!

A person of precise, ordered, organised, planned habits who likes control in his life. Today I had a derailment.

Let me tell you it is not a nice thing to happen. The forces of chaos and stupor spread their little tendrils across this day and slammed into me like one carriage at a time to ensure today went right off the tracks. That is until some sort of clarity and sanity was restored, I think it was anyway, some hours later when I could laugh along with everybody else.

Ho Ho Ho.

What are you talking about FrankieG?

It really started last night when, as planned, I lay my head down to sleep somewhat earlier than usual as I had set the alarm for 5 am. Ever since I was a small boy I have trouble sleeping on the Eve of a big event such as going on family holidays or Christmas or a birthday. Later in life it was any event where I have to set an alarm. Alarms keep me awake. Tonight was no different. I hardly slept. I spent more time in a recliner watching TV or reading a book. By 4.30 am I was wide awake dressed and ready for the day. After a walk around the block and breakfast I filled in time until our bags were packed and we were ready to go. The bags were placed in i30 and as a final check I placed my bum bag containing mobile phone, wallet, money, credit card, NSW Opal train, bus and ferry card and some USB sticks I had prepared for sister Sandra and stepson Errol on the floor of the car. I drove to our friends Graham and Wencke who were coming with us to Coolangatta Airport.

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Amazing. Airports all over Australia are busy on Christmas Day. Seven AM at Coolangatta Airport is n o exception. This airport is ranked as the 6th busiest airport in Australia which puts it ahead of Canberra (Australian Capitol),Hobart and Darwin. It is the busiest regional airport especially as it includes International flights.

They would drive the i30 back home, place it in the garage, lock the garage and hand the remote control to another neighbour. Graham and Wencke are also going away. The drive to the airport was easy with little traffic and we arrived in plenty of time to book in for our flight to Sydney. After removing our suitcases we bid farewell to our friends and went to the ticket counter, where, as expected we needed to show ID. No problem I have mine right here in the bum bag…..YIKES! which is still on the floor of i30 heading away from the airport.

Aaaaarrgh!!!

Easy I thought. We can solve this quickly. We used Donnis phone to call Wencke and ask them to turn around and bring our bag back. After all they would only be a Klm or two away so turning around would be no problem. We rang and rang and rang Wencke’s phone but no answer. It would be another half hour or so before they arrived home and another hour perhaps before they could return to the airport. We were travelling standby and were guaranteed seats on the 8am flight but after that we may miss any other flights. The staff kindly agreed to allow us on the flight without my ID. Finally we called G & W at home and explained the bum bag. They had not carried their mobile phone with them. They agreed to post the bag to us when the post office next opens. Whenever that will be.

It was not until we arrived in Sydney when my sister suggested I should have called my own phone. Graham and Wencke would have heard it ring on the floor of i30. I have a unique ring tone, Elvis Presley singing Jailhouse Rock. It is not something easy to ignore. Grrr! Hindsight is great but when you are in a panic it is hard to think quickly and clearly.

It took me a long time to settle down and accept the situation. A situation over which I had no control.

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Our Airbus A320 awaits us.

Our seats were over the wing and as such beside the emergency exit doors. WE and the people in the row ahead of us are expected to help crew in an emergency by opening the escape hatch. The quiet soft spoken steward explained what was expected of us. We could not hear so he started again. Once that was sorted out the people on the other side of the aisle said they could not hear either. His rolling eyes and sigh of annoyance  was quite loud.

Hmmm! There were no hostesses on this flight. They were all male stewards or Flight Attendants as they are now known.

Arriving in Sydney we were shocked by the change in weather. From a beautiful sunny day on the Gold Coast with an expected 31 degrees to an overcast and drizzly cold day of around 18 degrees and a chill wind blowing from the south.

Thanks to Bev and Pete who offered to pick us up at the airport and take us to Petes brothers house at Campbelltown for Christmas lunch. After the tribulation at the airport it was calming sitting with Petes family and talking about whatever people talk about on Christmas Day. One brother Steve, fell asleep in a recliner after lunch while I looked longingly at another recliner but we had to get back on the road. Bev and Pete had to pick up their son Mitchell and take him to the airport to fly to Melbourne. He is an Air Traffic Controller at Melbourne Airport.

By the time we arrived at Bev and Petes house I was mentally drained and overtired and fell asleep within minutes.

Wednesday 27th December

Today is the first day my left behind bum bag can be mailed. The Post Office has been closed the last 4 days. The bag was mailed and we have a tracking number. At the moment all our travel plans are on hold until the mail catches up with us.

Sigh!

While waiting for Ken to arrive by train from Newcastle Bev, Pete, Donnis and I drove to Pleasure Grounds at Como on the Georges River. The original single line railway bridge, between Oatley and Como was opened on Boxing Day 1885. Twin 60CM water pipes were attached on outriggers in 1935 in order to pump water from Woronora Dam to Penshurst Reservoir.

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The original single lane railway bridge over the Georges River linking Como with Oatley. The new dual carriageway can be seen in the background with Como Marina to the bottom left.
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The bridge is narrow, just enough room for a railway carriage with no room to spare.

Gradually the single line became busy and bottlenecks occurred so a new twin line bridge was opened in 1935. Instead of demolishing the original bridge it was kept open for bicycle and foot traffic as well as to continue the water pumping, It is a reasonably short walk from the Oatley Railway station to Como Railway Station. A Cricket ground, picnic area, swimming pool and tidal pool

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Swimming enclosure at Como on the Georges River.

and marina are located on this point of land known as Como Pleasure Grounds.

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Part of the Como Pleasure Grounds is this huge jumble of sandstone rocks. This has been a source of fun activities climbing and hiding for children for over 100 years. Oh and some older adults like to climb the rocks as well. Umm err including yours truly.

It is a delightful area with lots of older houses and many buildings and walls made from my favourite, Sydney Sandstone.

The historic Como Hotel sits high on a hill overlooking the cricket and sports ground and the Georges River.

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Como Hotel

The iconic Australian Poet and short story,  writer, Henry Lawson, lived nearby in the early 1900’s and he was known to frequent the Como Hotel. In fact he frequented many hotels.

A busy coffee shop

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Cafe at Como overlooking the Georges River

sits above a freshwater swimming pool which itself sits above a tidal pool.

Coming up, the Bondi to Coogee Clifftop Walk.

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